As an American who has benefited immensely under our system of capitalism, I so want to believe the purpose of capitalism is to increase happiness for all. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, is prompting me to ask questions that challenge that belief. Questions like: who do we take for granted in our society, when the reality is that our society depends on them? The Coronavirus has … Continue reading Undocumented Workers Are Essential. Let’s Treat Them Like It.
In the midst of an unprecedented crisis, Congress is failing the American people.
This week, as the Coronavirus pandemic spread in the US and stock market volatility sparked flashing red alarms for the national economy, the Trump administration floated several proposals for stimulating the markets and staving off a recession. The problem is that none of the proposals thus far adequately address the needs of the most vulnerable group amid this pandemic – low-income workers. Right now, 6 … Continue reading How Can the US Contain Coronavirus and Rescue the Economy? Start with Helping Low-Income Workers.
As 2019 comes to a close, let’s take a moment to look back at the major events that impacted the state of the economy – and the national conversation around our three core issues – as we enter the new year, and the many policy developments this year that are giving us hope for better, brighter decade to come.
There are loopholes in the laws that allow employers to take advantage of their workers and avoid paying them or giving them benefits that they by rights are owed. As our economy changes in the face of automation, the gig economy, and new corporate employment schemes, we need to focus not just on how employees are treated, but on who counts as an employee at all.
This week, barely noticed amidst all other, bigger headlines in Washington, the Senate confirmed a Labor Secretary who will be a disaster for working people. A corporate lawyer by the name of Eugene Scalia, with an anti-labor, anti-worker record longer than the list of labor complaints against the Trump organization, will be the country’s top authority on protecting workers and fighting for labor rights. In … Continue reading Meet the New (Anti) Labor Secretary
This Sunday, June 16th 2019, Congress will add a dubious new record to its long history. This date will mark the longest ever period that the legislature has gone without raising the minimum wage since it first enacted a federal wage floor in 1938. Congress enacted the last hike, to the current minimum of $7.25 an hour, on July 24th, 2009. That means it’s been … Continue reading The Economy Has Changed. Why Hasn’t the Minimum Wage?
On Wednesday, May 15th, Patriotic Millionaire Abigail Disney appeared before the House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets to testify on out-of-control executive compensation in corporate America.
“Ultimately, progress must come from all corners of society.” Those words came from an unlikely source on Tuesday, when Genna Gent, Vice President of Government Relations for McDonald’s, sent a letter to the National Restaurant Association announcing that the fast-food behemoth would no longer lobby against minimum wage increases at federal, state, or local levels. Instead, she said, the company would move to “advance – … Continue reading The Golden Arches Stand Down in the Fight for $15
The road to every working American being able to afford their basic needs took a big leap forward last week when Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed legislation to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. Illinois now joins the growing number of states who are listening to the concerns of their workers and challenges they face from rising wealth inequality and … Continue reading $15 Minimum Wage a Win for All Illinoisans
In November, Senator Schumer (D-NY) advertised a full-time press intern position for $0 per hour. If you are thinking, “This is not the America I know,” or “Democrats are better than this,” then we disagree. And we know different Americas. Unpaid internships are in line with the 96% of House Democrats and the 92% of Senate Democrats who also don’t pay their interns. The US … Continue reading Why Are Unpaid Internships Legal?
Americans across the country are justifiably up in arms over the latest Supreme Court Justice nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. Mr. Kavanaugh is an avowed partisan, hostile to women’s rights and consumer protection policies, as well as the conservative boogie-man, “Big Government.” What many Americans don’t know, however, is how his addition to the court could change the role of government generally, and in workplace safety specifically … Continue reading Confirming Justice Kavanaugh Means Freedom… from Being Safe?
This year is the 25th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which enables qualifying employees to take unpaid but protected leaves from their workplace. While this was a good start, in the years since, paid leave legislation at the federal level has stalled and women have paid the price. Luckily, California has decided to do something about this. As of January 1 … Continue reading Best Fringe Benefit: Caregiver Paid Leave
The Department of Labor (DOL) recently proposed a new rule that would allow employers to take their workers’ tips, so long as they pay them the minimum wage. If finalized, this rule could cost workers $5.8 billion annually. For workers who rely on tips to make up the difference on their $2.13/hr wage, this would be an economic disaster. Women would be affected most, as … Continue reading Tip Stealing: the Latest Attack on Low-wage Workers
On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the extraordinary achievements and everyday contributions of women across the world and throughout time. When given equal access to education and opportunities, women improve the world around them. Unfortunately, a number of obstacles disproportionately disadvantage women worldwide, and public policy in the U.S. is no exception, particularly given the absence of federally mandated paid family and medical leave. When … Continue reading By the Next International Women’s Day, We Could (and Should) Have Paid Family and Medical Leave
On February 24th, 2018 Chair Morris Pearl spoke at the Working People’s Day of Action rally in New York City. Below are his thoughts. I’m standing on the podium at the Working People’s Day of Action. It’s twenty minutes before call time and there are already at least a thousand people here. Hospital workers from local 1199. Teachers from the United Federation of Teachers (UFT). … Continue reading Working People’s Day of Action
The #MeToo movement has continued its efforts to change the culture of workplace sexual harassment by putting their money where their mouth is. New Year’s Day the Time’s Up initiative was announced, with stated goals that include fighting sexual assault in blue-collar workplaces across the country. One of their missions is to “discourage the use of non-disclosure agreements to silence victims,” according to the nytimes.com. … Continue reading Society Can’t Fix a Non-disclosable Problem
After decades of degeneracy, Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual abuse and harassment of dozens of women in Hollywood is being widely discussed and covered in the media. Some of these women accused Mr. Weinstein of criminal acts (assault, rape), while many claimed he acted incredibly inappropriately (suggesting that he could aid their career advancement if they had a sexual relationship with him). In some of these … Continue reading Are Secret Settlements Good for Companies?
Last week the Wall Street Journal Published an opinion piece by Michael Saltsman decrying San Francisco’s minimum wage hike.
Many businesses require employees to agree to non-compete agreements — meaning making the employee agree not to work for any competitor after leaving. There are a few instances in which this is reasonable.